Thursday, February 4, 2016

Roommates in RTC - [boyXboy]

One eighty four… one eighty five… one eighty six…

Flynn felt his abs contract and expand, almost painfully. His face was flushed and sweat trickled down his neck. A slight headache was drumming its way around inside his head as he went on doing the routine sit-ups.

One ninety four… one ninety five… one ninety six…

He glanced over at his desk. Maya Angelou’s ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ stared back at him. He remembered that he has to visit library to borrow new books.

One ninety eight… one ninety nine… Two hundred.

He took some deep breathes before standing up on his feet. Then he stretched for a few minutes, carefully folded the mat and placed it on top of his closet. Running the back of his palm over his sweaty face, he looked over at his roommate.  Aris was fast asleep; the mellow sunlight pouring in through the window made his dark lashes cast long shadows on his face. He was breathing calmly, his chest rising evenly. 

Flynn noticed that one of his legs was sticking out of the blanket and the hem of his striped PJ was pushed up, revealing a band of pale skin above the pants’ waistband. He felt a sudden impulse to reach down and trace his fingers over the exposed stomach. Shaking his head guiltily, he grabbed the edge of the blanket and pulled it over Aris. Then he went for a shower. 

Aris was still sleeping when he came back. He quickly dried his hair, made himself a cup of coffee and sat down at his desk. He spent the next hour watching Kurukono Basket. When his roommate finally woke up, it was already time for breakfast. 

“Good morning, Flynn,” Aris yawned. 

“Hey,” Flynn grinned. “Go shower, I’ll make coffee OK?”

“Thanks, Flynn,” Aris grabbed a towel and ruffled his hair on the way to the bathroom. “You’re a darling.”

Aris was still yawning when they made their way towards the mess hall. As he raised his arms above his head and stretched, Flynn couldn’t help noticing the hem of the shirt go dangerously up. He swallowed and tore his eyes away from the jutted pelvic arches. 

“Pass me those?” They were back in the room, getting dressed for class. Flynn picked up a pair of black booby pins from the table and handed them to Aris, who carelessly slipped them in his floppy black hair. The black gho made his face look paler – the beautiful kind of pale. 

They walked down together till the wet canteen and then parted ways. Flynn’s classroom was in the Academic block C and Aris’ all the way in A. 

“Wait for me at lunch, geddit?” Aris said as he headed down the road. He always took the longer way instead of the stairs. 

“OK.” Flynn descended the steps leading to his own classroom. 

He had Study Hall in the first hour so he asked if he could go to the library. The library with its shinny glass walls forever made a perfect haven. He submitted the books he’d finished reading and checked out Rousseau’s ‘Confession’ and Stephen Hawking’s ‘A brief history of time’. Then he went outside, searched for a nice place to sit down and began reading. 

Suddenly his phone buzzed. It was a text from Aris.

Help. Pair work. I so don’t want Lazy Lhamo to be my partner.

He bit his lower lip to hold back a chuckle. 

LOL. Too bad. I’m outside. Study Hall. Fooled Mr. Goodfaith into thinking I’m still in the library.

 Lucky ass. Shit wait a sec. I got paired with Thuje. Remember her? Tall, pretty, brown eyes, nice lips? Sheesh!

Flynn’s heart dropped. He remembered Thuje. Of course he remembered the bossy Queen Bee of RTC. He hated her.

Hey…? What happened? Wait for me at lunch OK? Don’t forget. PS: Thuje is haut. 

He locked his phone and put it back in the backpack, heart a cold lump in the chest. 

At twelve in the afternoon, he sat down at the edge of a stair near the canteen and waited. As girls walked up the flight of steps and past him – high heels clanking and kiras swishing – he thought about Thuje, and sighed heavily.

“Flynn!” Aris was waving at him. 

He stood up and froze. A tall striking girl was brandishing a stack of papers in Aris’ face and chattering away happily. 

“Oh I’ll take care of the power point slides OK, Aris?” Thuje was saying. “I think our topic is really, really easy, don’t you? I mean, we don’t even have to research about the –”

“Cool, Thuje. I know you’ll nail the slides.” Aris smiled at his partner and walked towards Flynn. Flynn couldn’t help noticing Thuje glower at him from behind Aris, eyes narrowed and lips pressed into a thin red line.

“You stopped texting back,” Aris said, almost accusingly. But he was grinning, green eyes sparkling. 

Flynn shrugged. “Fell asleep.”


He did not offer further explanation. 

“Is something wrong?” Aris wanted to know. “Did I do something? Why do you look like you just swallowed a sock?”

“Ha-ha,” He said. “I’m starving.”

Aris breathed out a low whistle under his breath. “Aaand the sulking mode’s on.”

Flynn did not talk with him the entire afternoon. 


  When Flynn woke up from his evening nap, it was way past twilight. The room was dark and he was alone. Then he remembered. Aris had a basketball match today. He cursed himself for forgetting about it. Quickly switching on the light, he pulled on a pair of jeans, threw on a jacket and grabbed his muffler on the way out. He skidded to a halt in the corridor, rushed back in, snatched the water bottle off the table and bolted away.  

When he reached the Indoor Basketball Court, the hall was brightly lit and filled with screaming girls. That’s right. Girls were supposed to come and cheer for the boys in their class. Flynn sighed, quietly walked to a corner and sat down on a spare chair. He watched as Aris ducked and twirled and hopped as graceful as ever; he was so beautiful. 

A sharp voice wiped the smile off his face. 

“Did you hear what I just said?” Thuje stabbed a perfectly manicured finger his way. 

“What?” he stood up from the chair. The match was still going on. 

Thuje sighed impatiently. “Look, Flynn,” she shook her head. “I know you mean well. You guys are like best friends, but please I want you to stay away from him, OK? Just stay away from Aris.”

“What?” Flynn repeated, flabbergasted. 

“I am in love with Aris,” she ignored his question. “I hate to break it to you, Flynn, but Aris, he’s not gay. He’s straight. And he loves me. Not you.”

Flynn’s heart plunged to his belly. It suddenly got so cold a piercing ache crept up his chest. He dropped the water bottle and his head started to feel lighter, black spots appearing round the edge of his vision. “I…” He bit his lip to keep his voice from shaking. His throat hurt and the back of his eyes prickled. He curled his fingers into fists at his sides as tears rolled uncontrollably down his eyes. He turned away to hide them.

“What the hell?” 

It sounded like Aris. But he did not care. All he wanted was for the tears to stop. He gritted his teeth and ran a fist over his eyes. Damn you, bitch, Aris.

Suddenly it felt like the entire hall had gone silent. He turned back to look around and his heart hopped. Every single head in the hall was turned towards them. Aris was glowering down at Thuje who blushed and sputtered under the glare. 

Then without warning, Aris reached forward for his hand. He did not protest as he got dragged out of the hall. Aris did not turn to look at him but he could tell from the firm set of his shoulders that he was furious. He hauled Flynn all the way to the dorm and in to their room. Then he closed the door after them and finally turned to face him. 

Flynn noticed that his face had turned scarlet. He was breathing heavily and still sweating from the match. “What was that all about?” he demanded. 

Flynn looked away. 

“Really, Flynn?” he sounded really angry.

That was it. Flynn felt his own rage bubble close to his throat. “She’s a bitch!” he almost screamed. His face felt dry and raw from all the tears. “She told me to stay away from you, Aris. Did you know that? What kind of a person does that? She said… she said that she was in love with you and that… that I didn’t stand a chance –”

He did not get to complete the sentence because right at that moment, Aris grabbed his neck and kissed him. At first, he just stood there, stiffened; Aris’ lips brushed over his. Then he closed his eyes and slowly parted his lips. Aris tasted like mint and smelled of sweat. 

He reached up and ran his fingers through Aris’ sweaty hair. Aris dropped his hand and tugged at the hem of his T-shirt. Then he hooked his fingers on Flynn’s belt loops and pulled him closer. They kissed until Flynn felt his insides turn into water.

Aris pulled back, looked away and said, “Stupid.”

Flynn did not move. He was too dazed to do anything.   

Aris scratched the back of his head. “Now don’t tell me I have to say how much I love you and that I will be with you forever and ever. Those are girl stuff.”

Despite himself, Flynn found himself smiling. “No,” he said. “No I won’t.”

“OK good,” Aris said. “Let’s go for ice-cream?”

Flynn nodded. “OK.” 

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From "Die Mitte der Welt"

It's one of those hot, sky-blue days that taste of vanilla ice cream and summer and future, when your heart beats faster for no apparent reason, and when you're prepared to swear any oath that friendships never end.

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